HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Coping with Autism and Puberty


"How should I begin talking to my 12 year old autistic son (high functioning) about puberty?" 

Talking about sexuality with an HFA child needs to be straight forward. Autistic individuals do not pick up on social cues, therefore when talking about sexuality it is important to use concrete terms. Use real terms to describe what you are talking about.

Expect that your child will be a sexual being, and understand that with a diagnosis of autism often comes an inability to control impulse behaviors. It is important to be proactive when preparing yourself and your child for puberty.

Teach him that it is okay to be a sexual being, but this is also a private time. Teach him about good touch versus bad touch so that he is not vulnerable. Let him know that you are comfortable (and work at it if you are not) with this type of conversation so that he can be comfortable too.

Sometimes it's difficult to accept this reality (i.e., that they are sexual beings) in our children, especially when they have a developmental challenge. Nonetheless, they need to understand their right to express their sexuality in appropriate ways, but they also need to understand the important of privacy. They need to understand that sexuality, while a social behavior, is constrained by social rules, and they need skills to enable them to behave acceptably in open society.





The Parenting Autism Resource Guide:

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

People interested in learning the facts about autism are welcome to listen to the free autism spectrum podcasts by Midnight in Chicago. They are located at www.mic.mypodcast.com

Anonymous said...

the same way you would with any child. Get a medical book and use proper terms and explain that it is natural and normal. I did it that way with my aspie daughter well before her period started and everything was fine. I find that if you don't make aspergers into a big problem all the time, the child accepts it and themselves much better.

Anonymous said...

our 13 yr old granddaughter wants to be treated like everyone else,she said i just think in different ways but i am hurt bye stares ,glares and mean words like everyone else.

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually. Thus, the best treatment for Aspergers children and teens is, without a doubt, “social skills training.”

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

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Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes. The hardest part is you feel like you’ll never actually get to know your child and how he/she views the world.

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